Date & Time: Sep 21, 1969 at 1720 LT
Type of aircraft:
Landing (descent or approach)
Scheduled Revenue Flight
Chicago - Mexico City
Crew on board:
Pax on board:
On final approach to runway 23L at Mexico City-Benito Juárez Airport, the three engine airplane lost height and struck the ground about 1,5 km short of runway threshold. It bounced and became airborne again when the nose gear and the forward fuselage struck a railway embankment. Out of control, the airplane crashed and broke into several pieces near the runway threshold. 80 people were wounded while 15 others were uninjured. Five crew members and 22 passengers were killed. The aircraft was destroyed.
The exact cause of the accident could not be determined with certainty due to negligence on part of the technicians in charge of the aircraft maintenance. Investigations revealed that at the time of the accident, the Flight Data Recorder (FDR) was not properly installed and was unserviceable. It was later reported that the technicians failed to follow the published procedures regarding the FDR installation process. No Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR) was on board at the time of the accident as the same technicians did not reinstall it prior to the flight. In such conditions, the airplane was unairworthy.